In 2005 I happened to come across a late night dark comedy that stirred a madness within me. I was probably far too young to watch it, but this was so far from any sitcom material that I was immediately entranced. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a comedy that pushes every line and discusses every topic they were told not to discuss. Oh and all while remaining sidesplittingly funny.
The show is unapologetic but it has nothing to apologize for. Their approach to the topics discussed is irreverent and wholly hilarious. But to truly appreciate the show one must watch not only one episode or a few episodes but a marathon of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which ironically is not filmed in Philadelphia. One must be immersed in the grand and profound greatness of the show in order to truly appreciate it. While binge watching is becoming the norm thanks to Netflix and other online streaming sites, and while this show was not made for binge watching, it is still the perfect show to watch one episode after another for hours. What you will most likely end up with, other than a heaping pile of entertainment, is a more concise picture of American culture and a clearer understanding of your own feelings. In the first nine seasons the gang — as they call themselves — address abortion, racism, underage drinking, gun rights, healthcare, marriage equality, the recession, patriotism, political campaigning, media sensationalism, and class relations. They also attempt to contribute to the tense situations in the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, and the Jersey Shore. And if physical or gross humour is your pot of tea then this show really has something for everyone. All bodily functions are included in ample amount.
They even made an episode dedicated to satirizing the Emmy’s — Television’s highest honours — since they are yet to win; which is the greatest television-related injustice since the creation of television. The characters are so fundamentally flawed, selfish, brutish, violent, and grotesque, but so utterly and disturbingly human. The show does not vindicate or condemn with heavy-handed self-righteousness; but make no mistake they are not silent when it comes to the prevailing issues of the day. The show, sometimes labelled low-brow, is anything but. It is intelligent and funny, it is observant and self-aware. The show somehow takes everything and nothing seriously simultaneously. By the end you will surely feel that everything really is always sunny in Philadelphia, no matter how dark the show gets. Bruce Springsteen’s song The Streets of Philadelphia tells us that life can be cold and lonely, this show reminds us that no matter how cold life can still be sunny.